Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Vegas Golden Knights||+1.5
|O 6 (-110)
|U 6 (-110)
The Calgary Flames may be seven points behind the Vegas Golden Knights but they have played five fewer games than them. The Flames have won four of their last five and are three points out of a playoff spot.
The Golden Knights have put together an impressive season but have not played that well since the NHL returned from postponement. However, there is a lot of season left for them to return to their earlier dominance. They have a strong roster with two good centers (Chandler Stephensonson and Jonathan Marchessault), two efficient veteran defensemen (Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore), and two productive wingers (Reilly Smith and Mark Stone). Goaltenders Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit have helped the Golden Knights win some games but are not one of the better goalie pairings in the league.
The Calgary Flames have been playing hockey really well the last couple of weeks. If they maintain this level of success, they will be in a playoff spot very soon. The Flames’ success is in large part to center Johnny Goodreau, left winger Matthew Tkachuk, defenseman Rasmus Andersson, and goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Goodreau is one of the best players in the NHL and scores over one point a game, Tkachuk has an impressive 20 goals, Andersson has 20 assists, and Markstrom only allows 2.2 goals per game. The Flames have been playing better hockey and are a little healthier than the Golden Knights, so I will pick them to win.
Calgary Flames beat Vegas Golden Knights 4-3. Vegas Golden Knights cover, Over 6.5 goals.
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|Vegas Golden Knights||Head-to-Head||Calgary Flames|
|Peter DeBoer||Head Coach||Daryl Sutter|
|28-16-3 (1st in Pacific Division)||Standing||23-13-6 (4th in Pacific Division)|
|Chandler Stephenson (38)||Points||Johnny Gaudreau (54)|
|Jonathan Marchessault (20)||Goals||Matthew Tkachuk (20)|
|Chandler Stephenson (26)||Assists||Johnny Gaudreau (36)|
|Zach Whitecloud (13)||+/-||Johnny Gaudreau (30)|
|Jonathan Marchessault (3.31)||Shots (Per Game)||Johnny Gaudreau (3.55)|
The Vegas Golden Knights will have a difficult matchup in the Calgary Flames. Even though they have been playing mediocre hockey lately, they can win the game by limiting Calgary’s shots and slowing down Johnny Gaudreau.
The Flames have no issue shooting the puck; they shoot over 36 times a game. This is one of the main reasons they are able to score over three goals a game. The Golden Knights need to limit those shots and hold the Flames to around 30 shots on goal. This will be difficult because they will be playing without defenseman Zach Whitecloud, but it is critical for them because they do not have top goalies.
Johnny Gaudreau is having another excellent season. The winger from New Jersey has 18 goals, 36 assists, and a +/- of 30. His overall impact on the Flames is extremely positive. That is why the Golden Knights defensemen need to make him their most important priority. If they do, they might be able to slow him down and limit his impact.
The Flames have the better team but are playing a Golden Knights team that knows how to score. That is why they need to avoid penalties and control the puck as much as possible.
The Golden Knights have a mediocre power-play unit, converting only a little less than 20% of their power-plays. However, any team has a much higher chance of scoring on a power-play versus playing in a 5-on-5 situation. That is why the Flames need to play smart hockey and avoid penalties at all costs.
Controlling the puck sounds simple, but it is a very difficult thing to do. It requires a whole team effort and often a lot of energy. Teams are not typically able to control the puck for long periods of time, but when they do, good things happen. The team that controls the puck usually ends up with a goal is able to stifle the opposing team from scoring. Either way, those are good results.
If you are a big hockey fan, you saw that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo won the Breakaway Challenge at the All-Star Skills night during All-Star Weekend. That is not why I picked him as the Golden Knights key player. I picked him because he takes on so much of the Golden Knights’ defensive responsibility and knows how to help his teammates score.
Pietrangelo has 20 assists and leads his team in TOI at 25:35. Not only is he productive on the ice, but he is productive for long periods of time on the ice. The veteran can help his team in a lot of ways and that is what makes him so dangerous.
Elias Lindholm is quietly putting together a strong season for the Flames. The Swedish center has 15 goals, 22 assists, and a +/- of 29.
Lindholm is not the Flames’ biggest offensive threat, but he is an offensive threat nonetheless. Since the Flames have more notable offensive players in Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Andrew Mangiapane, Lindholm will likely go under the Golden Knights’ radar and have some scoring opportunities. Look out for him to put the puck in the back of the net.
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|Vegas Golden Knights vs Calgary Flames Information|
|What||Vegas Golden Knights vs Calgary Flames|
|Where||Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta|
|When||Wednesday, February 9, 9:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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